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The News Matrix: Saturday 3 May 2014

Pfizer raises bid for AstraZeneca

The US firm Pfizer has raised its offer to take over UK company AstraZeneca in an attempt to pay lower US taxes by having its headquarters in Britain. A former Pfizer executive has previously admitted the disastrous impact of such moves. MORE

350 die as landslide buries village

Rescue workers were desperately searching for survivors after a landslide buried a village in north-eastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing at least 350 people. Another 2,000 people were missing after a hill collapsed on Hobo Barik following  days of heavy rain. MORE

Network Rail to cut bosses’ bonuses

Network Rail has announced plans to cut bonuses for top bosses and limit these to 20 per cent of their salaries. The news comes after the bonuses were heavily criticised when the company lost an appeal, in January, in a case where a 10-year-old was badly injured on one of its level crossings, in 2010.

Hundreds of migrants land

An Italian ship brought nearly 1,200 people to the Sicilian port of Augusta as Italian officials sounded the alarm over the rising tide of migrants trying to enter Europe.  Most boats come from Libya carrying migrants from Africa and 20,500 have arrived so far this year.

UN calls for death penalty ‘moratorium’

The UN Human Rights Office has described the suffering of US death row inmate Clayton Lockett during his botched execution in Oklahoma this week as “cruel and inhuman”. UN spokesman Rupert Colville called for an “immediate moratorium” on the death penalty.

Cancer teen Stephen home from hospital

A teenage cancer patient who has raised over £3m for charity as he thought he was about to die last week has been released from hospital. Stephen Sutton, 19, was visited earlier by David Cameron at Queen Elizabeth’s hospital in Birmingham.

Monkeys stolen from Blackpool Zoo

Five critically endangered species of monkey have been stolen from Blackpool Zoo in what police described as a “planned and pre-meditated” break-in. Thieves cut a hole in the perimeter fence and removed the locks from two separate monkey enclosures.

Elderly rely on TV or pet for company

Nearly half of all elderly people describe their TV set or their pet as their best company, according to a new report. The study from Age UK also stated that half a million elderly people describe themselves as lonely “often” or “all the time”.

Picasso Museum  reopening delayed

The reopening of the Picasso Museum in Paris, which owns the world’s largest collection of his works and documents, has been postponed from 21 June until mid-September. The artist’s son, Claude Picasso (above), protested yesterday over the delay.

Separatists shoot down helicopters

The Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “extremely concerned” by the reports of pro-Russian groups shooting down Ukrainian helicopters, and urged Russia to reduce tensions in the region. The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting.

Briton may have executed prisoner

A British citizen fighting in Syria is believed to have committed a war crime by taking part in the execution of a prisoner. A video that has been made public shows a rebel fighter, thought to be from London, firing a weapon repeatedly into a man who has his hands bound.

BBC ‘should sack Jeremy Clarkson’

The deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman has called for Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson to be sacked over his use of the “n word”. She said that anybody who uses the word “in any context” should have no place with the broadcaster.

‘Simpsons’ turned into Lego images

The Simpsons has been reimagined in Lego for Sunday night’s episode in the US. Using computer-generated special effects, the town of Springfield and its residents have been turned into images the style of the plastic toys. There is also newly launched Simpsons Lego toy line.

The way to win at rock-paper-scissors

A new study has shown that the  best way to win at rock-paper-scissors is to stick with your action.  Losers were found to switch  actions in the sequence game, and scientists say that anticipating  these moves could give you a winning edge.

The perfect cuppa  is a steal at £7,000

A machine that costs £7,000 is said by its manufacturer to make “the perfect cup of tea”. The Craft Brewer, from US firm Bkon, can make more than 60 cups of tea in an hour in a process called atmospheric infusion, using a brewing chamber with loose tea leaves.

Fish start to fly as warehouse explodes

A fire in a warehouse on the east coast of Sweden caused cans of fermented fish to explode and fly through the air. Reports said the building, near the town of Enaanger in the Hudiksvall region, went up in flames with 1,000 tins of soured Baltic sea herring inside.

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Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape